Pass happy Port Jefferson left Greenport/Southold/Mattituck decidedly unhappy.
The one-sided losses are piling up for Greenport. This latest blowout on Saturday came via air mail and was the worst one yet, in terms of points.
Port Jefferson marked its homecoming celebration with a 62-0 rout, featuring five touchdown passes (four thrown by Sam Florio) and three first-half TD catches by star receiver Aidan Kaminska. With the score 48-0 at halftime, the scoreboard was turned off for the second half, but the Porters didn’t need the scoreboard to tell them what they already knew.
“We all need to improve a lot,” said lineman Nick Smith, who led Greenport with five tackles. “It really hurts to keep taking [losses] like this.”
Greenport is 0-4 at the midway point of the regular season, having lost one-sided games to Southampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, Wyandanch, Bayport-Blue Point and now Port Jefferson. None of those games have been closer than a 32-point margin. Greenport has been outscored, 213-20, and shut out twice.
The strongest Port Jefferson team in many years showed why it was accorded the No. 4 seed in Suffolk County Division IV. Much of that respect is based on Florio’s passing arm and fellow senior Kaminska’s receiving ability.
Florio completed 10 of 13 passes for 194 yards, all in the first half before Luke Filippi relieved him late in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, the 6-0, 175-pound Kaminska took three of his four catches for touchdowns. Kaminska caught a swing pass and scooted 15 yards for the score. He also raced around the right side after a shovel pass for a 45-yard TD. Kaminska’s third TD came when Florio found him in the corner of the end zone for an 11-yard connection.
“We didn’t have an answer for [Kaminska],” Greenport coach Jack Martilotta said. “We schemed all week to try and stop [Kaminska], but he’s the real deal. He proved it. We had him in double, triple coverage, he’s still catching the ball.”
Florio also lofted a 62-yard TD pass to Justin Everson (two catches, 91 yards), who separated himself from the secondary. Filippi found a wide open Luke Verruto for a 4-yard TD pass that, following Alex Ledesma’s extra point, made it 48-0 with 3 minutes and 41 seconds left in the first half.
Port Jefferson’s preference for passing was unquestioned. The Royals (2-3) passed the ball on all but one offensive play in the first half, and that was an 11-yard TD run by Florio on a quarterback draw.
Port Jefferson’s defense got in on the scoring act when a Nick Denicola pass was deflected and floated invitingly in the air for Verruto to pull in at the Greenport 3-yard line for easy entry into the end zone.
For the game, Port Jefferson ran the ball 22 times and threw it 17 times for 360 yards in offense.
Port Jefferson’s two second-half TDs both came on runs, a 9-yard dash by Filippi (13 carries, 133 yards) from a shotgun snap and a 25-yarder in which he weaved his way around the right side.
Greenport was held to only 50 yards of offense and three first downs. The Porters went 1-for-12 on third downs. Martilotta called it “a real mess.”
“Losing is never easy,” Martilotta said afterward while purple and white Port Jefferson homecoming balloons were popped in the distance. “They are serious ballplayers, and when we’re in the position that we’re in, we have to play as close to a perfect game as we can. If you make mistakes, a team like that is going to take advantage of them, and they did.”
Martilotta said the biggest issue for Greenport is youthful inexperience. “At any given time, I got seven underclassmen” on the field, he said, adding: “I mean, we’re in a rebuilding year, for sure, and they’re playing better each week. The score doesn’t indicate it. Port Jeff’s a very good team.”
Martilotta was happy with the play of his offensive line of left tackle Smith, left guard Ronald Gonzalez, center Franklin Mastrangelo, right guard Julio Coc Tomas and right tackle Dominick Giovanniello. Scott Ferguson saw time at both guard positions.
This was a rough one, though. No question about it.
“Yeah, it was rough, but we had mistakes that we need to clean up,” Greenport running back/middle linebacker Isaiah Johnson said. He continued: “We need to work hard and stop slacking and for everyone to show up to practice on time and start working their hardest. Once we do that, we’ll maybe start winning some games.”
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s Matt Warns tackles Port Jefferson receiver Aidan Kaminska, who caught four passes for 73 yards, including three first-half touchdowns. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)